I'm 45 female. I was a teacher when I was younger, and since then I worked in the service industry. Married, no kids. We've always been good with money, and my husband's job has paid OK. Even though I never earned a lot of money, I've managed it very well. Currently we own our house straight out. It's worth around 300K but we live in an area where it could go either way in the future. We have about 150K in savings. Our 401K is worth about 250K. We have no debt at all, car paid off though eventually we'll need another. We do help husband's parents with their retirement. They live in India so this is not optional- it's the only way they can survive. At the moment, that costs us about 10-15K a year. My parents are going to be fine in their retirement, but we will have no inheritance.
About four years ago, I quit working to help look after an ill family member. Then for a year, my husband's job sent us bouncing around so I did not work. Then we bought our current home (cash) and I put labor into fixing it up. I think these were the right choices given the circumstances, especially since at that time I had only been working in the service industry for a few years by then so the money we saved on contractors & caregivers made it worthwhile.
But now I must decide what to do with the rest of my life. My husband has enjoyed his job up to now, but he wants to scale back or go into consulting. This will dramatically cut his income. It will still be enough for us to live on, but nothing more, and we don't have enough money yet for retirement and health care, etc. I have around 30-40 more years left to live. I have to find some sort of job. I cannot return to teaching.
The only options I see before me are returning to waiting tables (not something I can do into old age and also not something that will bring benefits) or returning to school. The expense of tuition scares me, then I worry if I'd be able to find a job. We have considered opening a little shop or cafe as we live in a tourist town, but that seems very risky too. I've thought of law school but I think I'm too old. I've thought of becoming a funeral director but I don't know what work I'd find. I've thought of writing but it seems no one makes money that way. I've thought of learning to cut hair. Honestly I have no fucking idea what to do and it's keeping me awake at night. Everything has some risk, and I'm old enough that the risk must be worthwhile but I'm young enough that I must do something.
From both a financial and professional point of view, what do you guys think? I know this is vague. I tried talking to psychologists, life coaches, career counselors- no one has any good advice. Counselors just tell me about the various programs available. Psychologists and life coaches just say to follow my passion. I don't actually have a passion and I'm not particularly good at anything.
Ideally, I'd like something simple and steady. If I could support myself mowing lawns for a living, I'd do that. I've never had a desk job. I don't have any technical skills. I just don't know.